When I was young, I remember adults telling me that they could remember the exact moment they learned John F. Kennedy had been assassinated. Everyone old enough to have memories on November 22nd, 1963, remember at least one moment from that day nearly 50 years ago; A shocking moment in human history burned into everyone’s memory.
The same thing occurred on September 11th, 2001.
I was riding in my car to my 9:00 a.m. sociology class at Austin Community College. As soon as I turned on my radio, a jumbled story about one of the Twin Towers being hit by a plane was well under way. By the time I arrived at my class, the second tower had been hit. I watched the towers fall live during sociology class.
For older teenagers, 9/11 is probably one of their earliest memories. For younger teenagers, they were so young that they probably don’t remember the day. In both cases, they’re growing up in a world of insecurity. The myth of security was shattered when the towers fell.
Consider this: teenagers are growing up in a world where their nation has been at war for as long as they have memories. They have grown up in a world where mass shootings covered in real time have become common place. They have grown up in a world where the stock market and real estate markets crashed, and the economy had to be propped up by a massive government bailout. They have grown up in a world where their governments national debt has shot through the roof, and no one can agree on what to do about it. They have grown up in a world with a consistently unstable job market.
When you put all the pieces together, the lens through which they see this world is built on uncertainty and insecurity. Their nation is in danger. Schools and movie theaters are no longer safe. The economy is in danger, and jobs are difficult to find. And their government is bankrupt.
While there are so many things in this world which we have absolutely no control over, you can choose to be a point of security and stability in lives of the young people you know. You can make the choice to love and care for them without requirements. You can be the person (whether a parent, friend, leader, boss, or minister) who gives security to person growing up in an insecure world. Be the person who helps guide the next generation through an insecure world.